Cardinals a win away from title game


The Cheney Cardinals girls basketball team opened the 3A State tournament with an impressive 65-48 victory over the Eureka Tornadoes on Wednesday afternoon at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.

The win advances the No. 4 Cardinals to the early semifinal on Friday, where the top-seeded and undefeated Phillipsburg Panthers await. Friday’s tipoff is at 2 p.m.

On Wednesday, Eureka drew first blood with a 3-point shot. It was the only lead the Tornadoes would have in the game.

The Cardinals answered with a 7-0 run, and took a 15-5 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Cardinals continued their run into the second quarter, taking a 13-point lead at 22-9.

That forced the Tornadoes to take a timeout, their second of the half in an effort to slow down the Cardinals.

It worked to an extent. The Tornadoes were able to climb back into the game, closing out the first half with a 9-4 run. At halftime, Cheney led 26-18.

Both teams ran their offenses well in the third quarter, with Cheney outscoring Eureka 20-17, to go ahead 48-35. The Cardinals then outscored Eureka 17-13 in the fourth quarter.

Three Cardinals finished the game in double figures. Campbell Hague was the game’s top scorer with 17, Elina Bartlett had 16, and Reagan Ayres added 13. Other scorers were: Leah Durr 8, Peyton McCormick 6, Raegan Black 3, Anna Martin 2.

Cheney shot 47.1 percent for the game, and Eureka shot 36.7 percent. The Tornadoes had three players in double figures as well. Cheney has edge in points in the paint, points off turnovers, second chance points, fast break points and bench points. Cheney dominated the boards, 42-23 on rebounds.

Wednesday’s top four seeds all advanced out of the first round.

With a win, Cheney would move on to Saturday’s championship game at 4 p.m. Saturday to face either No. 2 Goodland, which also is undefeated, or No. 3 Silver Lake, which is 23-1.

The third-place game tips at noon.